Meeting Notes – September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 PAC Meeting Notes

Welcome Back & Introductions – Agenda was distributed first, followed by introductions around the table.  There were many new faces.  Mrs. Cuff, District Administrator, was also in attendance.

Treasurer’s Report – Balance carried over from 2010-2011 school year is $9865!  $960 was raised from the recycling project over the summer.

PAC President & Nominations – General duty descriptions were read as stated on the agenda.  Connie Wheeler, previous Vice President, was nominated for President.  Connie has been involved and active on committees with PAC for 6 years.  Michelle Gloudemans, was nominated for Vice President.  Michelle has been involved and active on committees with PAC for 2 years.  Nominations were approved.

Peanut/Nut Free Ban discussion – Mrs. Cuff, District Administrator, was introduced.  She stated she realized Peanut/Nut ban is extreme.  Due to the increase in students with these severe allergies (coming in to the District last minute) and the amount of shared rooms (such as the Cafeteria, Music Room,ArtRoom, and Library), the ban was put in place this year.  She asked us to remember that the ban is just impacting 5 meals per week.  She is asking all parents to work within the ban.  She realizes the impact is mainly on the students who bring cold lunches.  The first day of school was the only day that those students with Peanut Butter lunches were separated from other students.  Going forward, that will not be the case. She stated students will not get punished if they bring a PB & J sandwich for lunch.  They will be watched by supervisors and the area will be cleaned up more thoroughly.   “Wow” Butter, which is a soy-based substitute for peanut butter, will soon be offered on the condiment table, free of charge.  There have been only 13 very serious complaints.  She expected more complaints.  Children, aged 4-10 year olds, have a more difficult time self-managing their allergy.  Over the last 5 years, these allergies have tripled.  There is no scientific/medical explanation for the rise.  Mrs. Cuff stated that the school/district is legally liable if we choose to ignore it, but if we do the best, we are less liable.  The ban was requested, by the Nurse, for 4 years. Mrs. Cuff stated the Peanut/Nut ban is the best option for the school and district.  Other allergies have to be ingested/eaten, while Peanut/Nut allergies simply can be smelled and a serious reaction can occur.  Additional thoughts or complaints can be addressed directly to Mrs. Cuff.

PAC Committees – The Committee descriptions and approximate time commitment, was listed on the back of the agenda.  A sign up sheet was passed around.  Volunteers were asked to sign up for committees.   Those parents who completed the “Helping Hands” list, included in student folders, will be added to the committees.

Teacher Requests/Funding for Classroom Supplies – Mrs. Wilson, Kindergarten Teacher, requested individual dry erase boards for her classroom.  Request for $125 was approved by PAC.

Recap Back-to-School Open House – Event went well.  Due to many parent/PAC requests, the school agreed to distribute the student paperwork, at Open House, earlier than in year’s past.  95% of parents attended the Open House and were able to pick up the student folders/paperwork.  This gave parents almost a week for the paperwork to be completed and turned into the teachers/office.  Only 7 Back-to-School supply kits were ordered.  It was determined that the low amount of orders were due to lack of time/notice at the end of the school year.  Going forward, more notice will be given to parents re: the Back-to-School Supply kits. This will be a great convenience for parents.

Retirement Gifts – PAC recognizes teacher and staff retirements.  Mrs. Hannon retired over the summer.  A $50 gift was approved.  Carrie Witt and Mrs. Braunschweig will handle the purchase and distribution of the gift.

Fall Paper Recycling Dates – Due to this summer’s success and profit of $960, we will be doing 4 more Paper Recycling events.  This is open to the entire Freedom community.  From September 26th – 30th there will be a dumpster in the front parking lot of the elementary school.  Further Paper Recycling dates will take place in December, March and June.  Watch for future flyers listing the dates.

Fall Student Appreciation Day – On October 7th, PAC will be handing out a special treat for the students.  In years prior, pretzels were distributed to all students.  A Market Day product will be distributed again this year.

Parent/Teacher Conferences – Conferences take place on October 15th and 17th.  PAC provides meals to the teachers throughout the evening since teachers generally do not have time to go home and eat supper.  Michelle Wagner will coordinate the meals and bring a sign up list to the next PAC meeting and will also use the “Helping Hands” list for additional volunteers.

October Staff Meeting – The PAC President and VP attend the October teacher/staff meeting, serves ice cream sundae’s and introduces PAC.  We will also explain the Teacher Request process.  Going forward, teachers will be given a voucher for up to $100 to be reimbursed upon submission of receipts.  Teachers are able to purchase additional supplies and resources for their classrooms.  Connie Wheeler will take care of creating the voucher.

Major Goals and Donations – As of now, the Nature Center/Boardwalk is in great need of volunteers and donations.  The entire trail needs to be boarded so that it is more accessible year round.  This will also make the maintenance easier.  There is discussion that the profits from the Paper Recycling events be donated to the Boardwalk expenses.  The topic was raised regarding improving the Pre-K and Kindergarten playground.  Robin Braunschweig will follow up with those teachers regarding their needs and wants.  Any further ideas for major goals and donations are highly welcomed.

“Helping Hands” list Coordinator – Shannon Haase will update the list and follow up with the school office to obtain the “Helping Hands” sheet.

Flag Football Bake Sale Coordinator –   Last year, PAC sponsored a Food Stand at many of the Flag Football games on Saturday mornings.  The profit was approximately $400.  Most of the profit was as a result of baked goods.  PAC would welcome volunteers to staff the Food Stand as well as volunteers to bake items and bring to the stand for sale.  If interested, please contact Cindy Taft at 850-5394.

Market Day – Karen Baumgartner, new school Guidance Counselor, will coordinate the Student Council staffing at the Market Day distribution days.  Karen replaced Betsy Meller.  Kim Schuller volunteered to assist with the monthly Market Day flyers.  She will be working on distributing the appropriate number of flyers per teacher.  If you are interested in volunteering for a couple late afternoon hours, once a month, please contact Amy Lahay at 920-687-1736 or Connie Wheeler at 920-788-5961.

Avon Fundraiser – This takes place in the fall during Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Stephanie Piepenburg will once again be the coordinator.  Michelle Wagner agreed to be the coordinator after this year. The Avon Fundraiser is our 2nd highest profit producing fundraiser.  The percent of sales last school year increased from the year before.  PAC will continue to sponsor this fundraiser.  If you are interested in volunteering at the end of September to distribute packets, please contact Stephanie Piepenburg at 920-687-6206.

Nature Center Presentation by Robin Braunschweig – The school owns the land in the Nature Center area.  It goes out to Duck Creek.  It was created approximately 15 years ago and PAC has greatly expanded and improved this area over the last 7 years.  It now includes an outdoor classroom as well.  In years past, the maintenance has been supplied by the school and PAC volunteers.  As mentioned above, there is a need to get additional Boardwalk in place and maintained. We are now looking into having the Boy Scouts take on this Boardwalk expansion as an Eagle Scout project.  PAC will fund 1/2 of the cost, while the Partnership Committee will fund the other half of the expenses.  It is estimated that PAC will fund approximately $3000-$5000.  Robin presented the backpacks that are a resource for teachers.  PAC purchased these backpacks and they include butterfly nets, rain gauges, and compasses.  In addition, there are many books available for teachers and parents to check out to use.  Families are welcome and encouraged to use the Nature Center/Boardwalk.  Parents will be able to buy a board for the boardwalk.  Watch for more information on how to purchase boards.  There is also a need for further parent and teacher volunteers to coordinate the expansion and improvement of the Nature Center/Boardwalk.

Meeting notes recorded by Michelle Gloudemans, PAC Vice President

Facebook:  “Like” us on Facebook at Freedom Elementary P.A.C. (Parents Activity Committee).

PAC website:  Please go to www.freedompac.org and enter your email address in the subscribe field and you will receive any postings on the website including the meeting agendas and notes.

Our October meeting is set for Tuesday, October 4th in Room 22 (Art Room) 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.  Free Babysitting provided by the Freedom High School National Honor Society.  Please come join us!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Connie Wheeler at 920-788-5961.

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